March 14, 1910 (11th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Adam Brown Crosby

Conservative (1867-1942)


I want to speak on the same line and the hon. minister can answer both at the same time. I was very pleased indeed that the hon. member for St. Lawrence (Mr. Bickerdike) brought up the matter regarding the deportation of undesirable immigrants. When an immigrant comes into Canada who is undesirable, the steamship company discover that they have the onus of deporting him. and they use all their influence to try and keep him in Canada. I know that in Halifax the companies have named a doctor to represent them and examine the immigrants with the doctor of the government, and the company's doctor will use all his influence in favour of his employer. Of course when two professional men get together and have a difference regarding an immigrant, it is reasonable to expect that they will give the benefit of the doubt to the stronger interest, and that would be in favour of keeping the immigrant in Canada and relieving the steamship companies of the cost of deporting him. In the past we had more cases of undesirables kept in the country than now, but still we have quite a number at present. When a 'large company, such as the Allan line or the Canadian Pacific railway, bring in a number of passengers, and these passengers come up for medical inspection, the government doctor passes along and sets a great many to one side. Then he goes over them a second time and finds there are a few he can allow to remain. He goes over them again and studies them some more and then, influenced by the doctor representing the steamship company, he goes over the lot a fourth time for the purpose of relieving as many as possible. I do not blame the government's officials, because they act conscientiously and always give the newcomer the benefit of the doubt. I followed very closely the argument of the hon. member for St. Lawrence division. I think it would be well if this inspection could be made on the other side so that when the immigrants arrive here, they would feel at home and we could keep them and take care of them. You can understand what a hardship it is when a family lands at Halifax and two or three do not" pass the inspection and are sent back, and the others go on to the new land. When one portion of the family must go back to the old land and the other can take up homes in the new land, the division of that family is very sad. Therefore I would endorse the appeal made by the hon. member for St. Lawrence division, Montreal (Mr. Bickerdike).

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